Sure, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and improve your sleep. But so is enjoying a little one-on-one time with you and your body.

Masturbation is a safe and natural way to feel good, discover what gets you hot, and release built-up sexual tension. In fact, solo play has infinite health benefits and absolutely no downsides — plus it’s fun!

Keep reading to learn more about masturbating with a vagina, how you can get started, and what you can do to really turn up the heat.

Here’s a list of the most common types of masturbation and the way they typically feel. Remember though: This will vary from person to person.

Orgasm typeType of masturbation
clitoralMost people use their fingers to play with their clitoris, but vibrators and other toys can also bring pleasure during solo play. When you orgasm, you’ll feel a tingly sensation along your skin and in your brain.
vaginalYou can use your fingers or a sex toy to penetrate your vagina during solo play. You’ll feel the “Big O” deeper in your body, and your vaginal walls will throb.
analYou can use your fingers or a sex toy for anal play (although a toy is better for deeper penetration). Right before you orgasm, you may feel an intense need to pee — only the contractions are around your anal sphincter.
comboThis one is all about personal preference. You can use both hands to play with your vagina and your clitoris, or a combo of sex toy and fingers. When you stimulate your clitoris and vagina — especially the G-spot — at the same time, you’ll feel an explosive orgasm that may leave you convulsing or even lead to ejaculation.
erogenous zonesYou can rub, pinch, pull, squeeze, or tug your nipples, inner thighs, ears, neck, and other parts of your body during solo play. These areas, known as erogenous zones, can cause pleasurable sensations throughout your body when played with.

Masturbation doesn’t have to lead to orgasm. But if you’re in the mood and want that endorphin rush, there are a few things you can do to help your body achieve the Big O:

Set the mood. The setting can sometimes make a big difference in whether or not you’ll have a good solo session. Think about turning down the lights, lighting some candles, and listening to relaxing music to get the mood going.

Add some lube. When you’re aroused, your body self-lubricates, making masturbation a much smoother and pleasurable experience. But sometimes, that may not be enough (or it may not happen at all!). So keep a tube of lube on hand to increase your pleasure.

Let your mind wander. It may go without saying, but you can turn yourself on by simply thinking about that hottie you met last week. Let your mind fantasize about people or situations that send tingles down your spine.

Take your time. You don’t have to rush masturbation. Play around with techniques, and take your time to enjoy all of the sensations you’re feeling throughout your body.

Explore erogenous zones. Playing with your erogenous zones — think your nipples, ears, or thighs — can shoot sparks of pleasure throughout your body.

Give your usual sex toys a break. Vibrators and dildos are loads of fun to play with, but they’re not the only sex toys in town. Some people, for example, like to stimulate themselves by using a showerhead on their clitoris or rubbing their vulva against a pillow.

Consider erotica or pornography. It’s fun to let your mind wander, but you don’t always have to use your imagination. If you want to turn up the heat, read a dirty book or watch a sexy video.

The clitoris is a pearl-sized organ, often covered by a hood, that’s found at the top of your vulva where the two inner lips meet. Your clitoris is packed with thousands of nerve endings, making it the most sensitive part of your genitals. That’s why most people with a vagina experience orgasm by stimulating their clitoris.

Clitoral orgasm

  • Massage the fleshy area on the top of your pubic bone, then run your fingers along the outer and inner lips of your vulva.
  • Start rubbing or stroking your clitoris through the hood. You can also form a “V” with your pointer and middle fingers, and slide them up and down the sides of the clitoral shaft. Find a rhythm that makes you feel good.
  • Move your fingers faster and harder once your clitoris becomes wet, or after you’ve applied lube. Intensify the feeling by applying heavy pressure until you orgasm.
  • Using a vibrator is a great way to stimulate your clitoris without having to overwork your fingers. Just run your sex toy up and down the area until you get off.

Despite common myths, most people with a vagina have a hard time climaxing with vaginal stimulation. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, though!

Penetrating your vagina with your fingers or a sex toy can bring you immense pleasure, even if you don’t orgasm. But if you want to see stars, experiment with stimulating your G-spot — a pleasure point on your vaginal wall — with consistent, heavy pressure (doing so may also lead to !).

Vaginal orgasm

  • First massage your vaginal opening, then slowly insert your fingers (or sex toy) into your vagina. Make sure your vagina is wet, or that you’ve applied enough lube to avoid friction.
  • Start to move your fingers or toy in a circular, in-and-out, stroking, or combination of motions. It’s best to use a “come hither” motion to stimulate your G-spot.
  • Increase the speed and pressure as the good vibrations begin to build. You may feel an explosive orgasm, but don’t worry if you don’t — not everyone can get off with vaginal penetration.

Who says anal orgasms are only for people with penises? You can still get off through anal play by indirectly stimulating the G-spot through the wall shared between the rectum and vagina. But remember: You must, must, must use lube, as your anus doesn’t self-lubricate naturally.

Anal orgasm

  • Start massaging the outside and inside of your anal opening, then slowly and gently insert your finger or sex toy into your anus.
  • Switch between a circular and in-and-out motion as you penetrate your anus. Go faster as the pleasure begins to build until you’re ready to finish.
  • Experiment with toys! Vibrators, plugs, anal beads, and massagers can intensify your orgasm tenfold.

Many people report Earth-shattering orgasms when stimulating the vagina and clitoris at the same time. Combo solo play intensifies feelings of pleasure by stimulating all the sensitive parts of your genitals. Touch and rub your erogenous zones while you’re at it for a steamy, full-body experience.

Combo orgasm

  • You can use both hands or a combo of fingers and sex toys for clitoral and vaginal stimulation during a solo session.
  • Go wild! Use parallel or opposite rhythms when playing with your clitoris and vagina at the same time. Even consider switching up speeds between the two (think fast fingers, slow penetration).
  • It’s all about experimentation! When it comes to stimulating your erogenous zones, play around with various touches (think rubbing, tugging, or pinching) and sex toys (think feathers or finger vibrators) to know what makes you feel good.

Masturbation doesn’t have to be boring! You can use different positions to kick your solo session up a notch on the pleasure scale. Here are just a few to try out:

For clitoral, try laying on your back

Sure, laying on your back may seem old fashioned, but when it comes to stimulating your clitoris, no position is better. While on your back, with a pillow propped under your head, spread your legs and bend them at the knees. Start to rub your clitoris. You can go slow or fast, hard or soft — whatever feels good to you.

For vaginal, try squatting

If you’re looking for an explosive orgasm, the squatting position is the one to try. Squatting makes it easier for you to locate your G-spot, which is about two to three inches inside your vaginal canal. Crouch down with your heels close to or touching the back of your thighs. Then, start to slide your fingers or toy into your vagina, moving deeper as you go. Mix it up with a range of motions, from stroking and circular, to in-and-out.

For anal, try face-down doggy style

When it comes to anal play, face-down doggy style opens you up for so much pleasure. The position gives you the room you need to insert your fingers or a toy in your behind with one hand, while rubbing yourself with the other. Get on all fours, then put your face down on your bed or floor so your backside is higher in the air. Wrap one arm around your back to reach your anus, while placing your other arm underneath your body, so you can touch your clitoris.

For the combo and erogenous zones, try the pretend lover

Think of the pretend lover as the cowgirl for one. Put your favorite dildo or vibrator on your bed, and lower yourself down until you find a sensation you like — either penetration, clitoral, or both. You may need to use your hands to steady your toy. Ride your toy as fast or as slow as you want. At the same time, rub your clitoris or play with your nipples at the end of this solo session.

Want to go wild? Try the reflection

The reflection is a great way to really discover your body and what turns you on. Sit yourself in front of a full-length mirror with a big tube of lube. Pour the lube all over your body — your breasts, belly, inner thighs, and vulva — and start sliding your hands over these erogenous zones. Pinch, squeeze, pull, tug, rub — do whatever feels good, and pay attention to what really gets you hot and bothered.

A sexy solo session doesn’t have to exclude foreplay. Instead of jumping right into touching yourself, why not set off slowly and get your other senses tingling?

If you’re into the written word

Not only are erotic stories entertaining to read, they also let you discover your sensual and sexual side. Kinky literature encourages you to fantasize and discover sexual pleasures in a safe, fun way. Check out to get started with some femme-friendly stories.

If you’re more visual

It should be no surprise that — and why shouldn’t they? Watching porn can increase your libido, relieve stress, and allow you to explore your sexual kinks in a safe way. Check out for super-sensual erotic films based on anonymous user stories (subscription required).

If you prefer to listen

Listening to sexy sounds can be just as — if not more — arousing as reading erotica or watching porn. Audio lets your imagination run wild as you lose yourself in the details of the story. Check out for a treasure trove of steamy audio books.

Masturbation is a fun, sexy, and safe way to explore your desires and learn what turns you on. Plus, there are so many health benefits to self-pleasure — Reduced stress! Better sleep! Sexual release! — that there’s no reason not to sneak in some pleasure every day.

If you’re new to solo play, that’s OK, too. There’s no right or wrong way to masturbate, so take the time to discover your body. Bottom line: Do whatever makes you feel good — and enjoy every minute of it!